ANA Calls on Congress to Overturn the FCC’s Online Privacy and Data Security Order

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) joined with a broad cross-section of other major industry groups today in filing a letter urging the Congress to enact a resolution of disapproval pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the online privacy Order adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on October 27, 2016.

The letter states: “We support the goal of ensuring that consumers’ online activities are subject to privacy and data security protections that comport with consumer expectations and long-standing privacy policies that have both protected consumers from harm and allowed the internet to flourish.  However, the FCC’s Order would significantly harm consumers as well as our nation’s digital economy.”  

“The FCC’s sweeping privacy Order is unprecedented and misguided and would be damaging to the entire online advertising ecosystem,” said Dan Jaffe, Group Executive Vice President of Government Relations for ANA. “This massive attempted regulatory overreach by the FCC, if not overturned, will confront consumers with an avalanche of annoying and unhelpful advertising and breach notices. These rules are unnecessary because highly-effective existing privacy self-regulatory programs such as those carried out by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) already provide the necessary consumer transparency, notice and choice for interest-based advertising.”         

ANA was joined in the letter by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Data and Marketing Association (DMA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), CTIA, the United States Telecom Association (USTelecom), NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), the American Cable Association, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), ITTA, the ICC and the US Chamber of Commerce.  The industry letter concluded: “Invoking Congress’s prerogative as provided in the CRA will help clear the way toward re-establishing a consistent, uniform set of privacy protections for consumer across the internet.”  

Jaffe stated: “Today’s letter is a further follow-up to the Petition for Reconsideration that we filed with the FCC on January 3rd.  We strongly believe that the FCC Order needs to be overturned, either through Congressional action or by a newly-constituted Commission.”

The industry letter states: “Adopted on a party-line 3-2 vote just days before the Presidential election, over strenuous objections by the minority and strong concerns expressed by entities throughout the internet ecosystem, the new rules impose overly prescriptive online privacy and data security requirements that will conflict with established law, policy, and practice and cause consumer confusion.”

“The FCC’s actions were both bad policy and bad process.  The Order would not only fail to serve the public interest, but would in fact harm it by substantially burdening consumers and businesses,” said Jaffe.